Howard Herman: Edicts for changes in baseball
By Howard Herman,Berkshire Eagle Staff
If I was the King of All Baseball, I would be a very busy guy. After all, when you have to make some major adjustments from the youth leagues to the majors, it takes a lot of work.
If I was the king, I would institute Berkshire County Little League and Babe Ruth championships for the house leagues.
I have long felt that such tournaments would keep kids playing baseball longer and keep more of them interested in the game.
We are in the middle of the All-Star baseball season and that has most of our attention. Little League play began this weekend in Adams, Babe Ruth tournament play is ongoing and Cal Ripken All-Star tournaments are also being played.
Looking at Page C3 in our section this morning, you see photographs of the Myron Gray Pittsfield West and Pittsfield South league champions. Wouldn’t it be great to see those kids play for a county championship?
Imagine if East Side Cafe from Pittsfield South would play the North Adams champion in the first round of a tournament and any two of the county’s league champions could eventually meet in Little League title game.
If baseball as a sport is in trouble with younger kids, a debate for another day, wouldn’t it behoove the powers that be in the sport to have kids playing more games?
There are a lot of youth baseball players who don’t make the all-star teams, and their seasons are over -- with two months of summer left.
How about it, baseball people? Your king has spoken.
Today’s second kingly edict would impact the major leagues. The time is long past due to bring the designated hitter to the National League.
When interleague baseball first started, games were played in blocks -- every American League team played a National League team at the same time in the schedule. That gave an exhibition-like feel to those games.
Now, you have the Red Sox playing their first home games of 2014 against the Milwaukee Brewers of the National League, and if they’re in the pennant race in September, Boston will have what could be an important three-game at Pittsburgh on tap.
The king realizes that it’s impossible to put the proverbial toothpaste back in the tube, so as much as I don’t like interleague play, it’s not going away. As much as I prefer National League baseball to its American League counterpart, the DH isn’t going away either.
It makes absolutely no sense for the two leagues to operate by separate rules when it comes to the designated hitter.
During interleague play, National League teams get to use an extra bat in American League parks, but those teams aren’t built with DH-caliber hitters. NL teams aren’t able to keep a David Ortiz on their rosters, unless Big Papi plays first base every day.
As much of a disadvantage as not having a DH can be to a National League team visiting Detroit or Cleveland, the Tigers and Indians have disadvantages when they have to sit their DHs on trips to Pittsburgh or St. Louis.
Even things up, the King says, and bring the designated hitter to the National League. It’s time.
To reach Howard Herman:
or (413) 496-6253.
On Twitter: @howardherman
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